May 7, 2009

Non-consumer Mother's Day gift ideas

Mother's Day is just around the corner. If you'd like to celebrate your mom in a Compact-y way, I suggest thinking in terms of handmade gifts, experiences, and food.

Some ideas for handmade gifts:
1) I made a color copy of this collage up above for my brother's birthday recently. I went through an old photo box and chose only photos of my brother and I together (well, our dog Daisy made it into one and Mickey Mouse another). Make a collage of happy times for mom. It can be just a few photos, and any copy shop can make a color copy for you. If you have a scanner, you can make this type of thing yourself.
2) I just sent off a simple handmade card to my mom. I pasted a photo of us on the front and wrote a nice note inside.
3) Plant a simple herb garden for her kitchen window.
4) Arrange fresh or dried flowers from your garden into a bouquet.
5) One of my mom's favorite gifts was a frame I made for her at a place called Color Me Mine. You can go there and decorate a mug or a plate or a picture frame. I painted "Mom is our first best friend" on the ceramic frame and I found a photo when I was young and laughing at something she'd said or done. We both looked very happy.

Some ideas for experiences:
1) A nice walk on the beach, in a park, or any beautiful area not too far from where she lives.
2) Concert tickets for her favorite group or singer. My mom raved about Josh Groban for months.
3) Help her with decluttering an extra room or garage, planting a vegetable garden, or redecorating a room.
4) Bring her somewhere you know she would like but wouldn't go on her own. For my mother, this has included a wild animal sanctuary, getting in a tank with beluga whales at Sea World, and a bike ride on the beach. The sky's the limit! Get your mom out of her comfort zone.
5) Give her an at-home facial. Be sure to include aromatherapy, cold water to sip on, and relaxing music.

And finally, there's always food:
1) If you don't want to fight the crowds at brunch, try taking her out the day before, or maybe an off-hour in the afternoon.
2) Cook a special meal at home.
3) Bake her a cake or a pie.
4) Splurge on some really delicious chocolate she would never buy for herself.
5) Maybe breakfast in bed SOUNDS better than the reality, but it's always sounded good to me. I think this is a perfect choice for families with kids- dad, you can supervise- or moms whose kids are grown up and scattered- dad, you're the chef in this scenario. Be sure to include fresh fruit, a delicious pastry item, and a small vase of flowers.

Not all of these ideas are free, but they're all Compact-y because if you spend money, it won't be for STUFF. Moms: what have been some of your favorite Mother's Day memories? Please share your thoughts and ideas about Mother's Day gifts in the Comments section.


KateSommers said...

These are adorable photos.
It brings back memories,since that is around the time I met you!
I remember Daisy...and Fanny whom we adopted.If you have any pics of the two of us I'd love you to email a copy to me.I have some of us that I can copy as well.~Aloha

Ellen said...


Great gift ideas! Keep it up! My folks are near retirement and changing their lifestyle to prepare to live on a fixed income. I want to remember to give them movie gift certificates in the future. This is myself spending money, but I'm giving them a night out, and they do enjoy going. If gift cards are well thought-out, they can be a great option.

Anonymous said...

You have suggested some thoughtful gift ideas that Mums would like to receive.

My mum lives near a theatre and so loves receiving theatre tickets to the latest shows. This is something that she would not usually splurge on for herself and Dad.

My favourite gifts to receive are photos, a homecooked breakfast with my little family with a flower from the garden in a bud vase at my place setting.

Last Mother's Day, my family took me to the art gallery to see an exhibition I had wanted to see.

The previous Mother's Day, there was an 8km Mother's Day Classic Fun Run run held near Sydney Harbour and the Opera House and the Botanic Gardens. The fun run was held to raise funds for Breast Cancer research.My family got up with me at 5.00am so that they could take me in so I could take part in the race on Mother's Day morning. It was very memorable for me and another one of my favourite Mother's Days presents.

Anonymous said...

I just remembered another idea.

I have a massage table and I undertook a "once a week" massage course a few years ago at the local community college.

So one treat that my Mum loves is an hour long massage! I burn some lavender oil, put some relaxing classical music on in the background and get some towels and bathrobe and spoil her with a back, neck, shoulder, head and face massage.

calimama @ compactbydesign said...

My mom will be enjoying some face time with her grandson. As she lives in Canada and we in Southern California, I have committed to getting our Skype program up and running.
I can't recommend Skype highly enough for people with family far away. If you're one of the brilliant ones that has a Mac (unlike me) everything you need is built in. Otherwise it does require a camera/microphone. Compactors will have to decide for themselves about obtaining that piece. Luckily we have ours from pre-Compact days.

Jill said...

Nice ideas, Angela. I've been pounding my brain all day trying to think about a good gift for my mom - and it's already Friday!!!! I think your idea about a photo page for her would be great. I'll let you know how it comes out. Take Care!

Angela said...

Katie- I'm sending you something I found...

Ellen- I agree about gift cards and have always enjoyed getting them because it's sort of "forcing" you to treat yourself.

Lala- I love the idea of doing the run on Mother's Day. What could be a better combination than your family's support, physical exercise, and bringing attention to an important issue? And that massage class sounds great. My husband loves when I give him a massage just because of what I've picked up over the years from GETTING massages.

Calimama- I love the idea of Skype and want to look into that for keeping in touch with several friends who have moved away and for relatives we don't see often enough.

Jill- Thanks for coming by and commenting! I'm on my 3rd batch of your yummy granola. Go check out Jill's site if you haven't yet...

Happy Mother's Day to all you moms (Ellen, you can include yourself in that since you have your little doggies)

Canadian Saver said...

These are all great ideas that mothers will enjoy a lot more than another mug that says #1 mom on it!

WilderMiss said...

Love it. And I'd say that this extends to birthdays/christmas/all other gift oriented holidays. I personally prefer "experience" type gifts and spending time together over objects anyway.

My sister and I have started a tradition of hosting brunch for our mom and grandmas on mother's day. And I've got to say, I think that they appreciate it a whole lot more than anything else we could do. We always make it extra special with beautiful presentations and new recipes. Seeing their daughters/grandaughters doing well and being domestic is a huge thrill for them.


Wow! What a great list! This took some time to put together.
Thank you so much.

What a wonderful giveaway! I love all those pretty spring fabrics,